Chamundi Hills is the prime landmark of Mysore city, visible almost from anywhere in the city center. The hill has a very close association with the founding of the city. In fact, the very name of Mysore is associated with the hill.
When you visit Karnataka, you will be suggested not to miss Mysore.
And more enthusiastically, people share their experience of climbing Chamundi Hill via 1000 odd steps which are a thrill and offers spiritual satisfaction.
The city of Mysore spreads on the foot of Chamundi Hills. The view is as though Chamundi Hills stands protectively over the city of Mysore.
Climbing Chamundi Hills – 1001 steps up and down:
This sacred hill holds one of the largest sacred Dravidian Temple dedicated to Sri Chamundeshwari Devi, the goddess of Mysore.
Legend says she slew two demons, Chanda and Munda, thus her name. But, more commonly there are mythological stories narrating that she killed Mahishasura, the demon in a fierce battle that spanned for 10 days. Hence, Devi Chamundi is also known as Chamundi Mahishasura Mardini, meaning the one who killed Mahishasura.
Reaching atop Chamundi Hill
Reaching atop the hill can be done by climbing steps or walking or via the motor-able road. There are city buses plying from top to bottom and into the town several times a day.
There are private auto-rickshaws available for hire.
There are people who walk all the way through the road and reach the top of the sacred hill. The road is scenic filled with greenery. One gets to see various views of Mysore throughout the stretch of the road. If you plan to climb, then you better be informed about the 1008 steps that take you to the top of the hill.
Climbing Chamundi Hills, a flight of 1008 steps
Many people begin climbing from the foothill at the crack of dawn; some devotees of the deity, some fitness enthusiasts, some in groups of chatting friends, some newly married couple, there are also kids accompanying their parents in the climb.
For some, it is an every weekend family event.
You will also find old buddies joining together every Sunday to tread up till Nandi idol. Some make it a point to cover up till the top.
People of all age climb this flight of 1000 odd steps and reach the hilltop in their own distinctive pace. Some take like less than 15 minutes while some go the slow way taking about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Nandi on Chamundi Hills
At about 650 steps, you get to see Nandi, the huge colossal statue which is about 15 feet tall and 25 feet wide towering over everything. The intrinsic carvings on Nandi are beautiful and worth staring at for long hours.
Nandi was installed by Doddaraja Wodeyar. It was this very Maharaja who set up the flight of these steps to the top of the hill.
At this point (near Nandi) you will find small stalls that sell hot coffee/tea, sugar cane juice, spiced fruits, and other refreshments.
Mysore city views from the Chamundi Hills:
The climb offers great views of Mysore city. On a clear sunny day, you will be able to see race grounds, Lalitha Mahal Palace, the Mysore Palace, and even Karanji Kere and Kukkarahalli lake.
There is a great spacious view location at about 900th step. People often prefer to relax and spend time here.
After the climb of the 1000 steps and walking further a few yards, you reveal yourself into the first glimpse of the temple.
- Temple timings (open for darshan): 7.30 AM to 2.00 PM, 3.30 PM to 6.00 PM, 7.30 PM to 9.00 PM